Everyone and their dog has a blog (and I really mean their dog, dogs now have social media accounts, blogs, and more), but is it helping achieve their goals? There are few blogs on the internet that are there for sheer goodwill. Most people and businesses have blog content in order to post industry or topic-specific content, with the hopes of attracting new website visitors. These new website visitors are not here by mistake, we have attracted them with the information they are looking for in hopes that they also have a need for what we are offering. However, many of us are stuck here wondering if blogging is working and if it can actually help us. Thankfully, there is an answer. Blogging is not something that’s size-specific and that only large companies can do successfully. Blogging is something that all businesses should be doing.
This enduring importance placed on blogging isn’t shocking. Not only does posting unique, but high-quality content also improves your SEO, site traffic, and overall online presence. It can also help prospects learn more about you as a business, your industry, and your offering. However, starting and running an effective, traffic-generating blog content requires an investment. Not necessarily monetary, but of your time and energy. For those of you marketing managers on a tight budget, you may only be worried about efforts that directly impact your bottom line. That’s why we’re here, to see if this is one effort that is worth the investment.
How Does Blog Content Lead To Sales?
Attracting New Customers
Now everyone has the same end goal in mind, one way or another, and that is to attract new customers. Blogging can be a great way to achieve this as you can write content that appeals to their pain points. Ideally, you would have a spot to plug your own offering that would assist with their pain points, but this should not always be the case. Your goal should not be to plug yourself in every post but to draw in your ideal customers through the type of content you are writing about. As you create more content that attracts the right audience, they will come to expect helpful content from you and return. This way they will be introduced to your brand more organically. If they choose to seek out your offering, it will build a stronger relationship than if you were to plug yourself in each blog.
Calls-To-Action Should Be Easy
Everyone has experienced that one website that bombarded them with calls-to-action and because of that, have never returned. However, we have also experienced that website that we struggled to find a call-to-action and left because of it. The sweet spot as I’m sure you have guessed is in the middle. By having a clear, relevant, and consistent call-to-action on your blog, your readers (new or returning) will know where to look if they are interested. You can add a section to the side of your blog content that readers will see as they scroll, a pop-up trigger on user intent, or one in the middle of your post. The key is to not be intrusive, annoying, or spammy with your calls to action. They should notify your readers that they are there, but not affect their experience. Play around with the different forms of calls-to-action and see what you like and what works best.
Build A Community
Having a blog is a great way to build a community and build trust with your readers. When you continuously write and publish quality content on topics your audience is interested in, they will then attribute the quality to your brand. If these readers do not have an immediate need for your offering, they may know someone that does. Or, if they don’t know someone that does, they may still refer their friends and co-workers to your content and so on. Good quality content will organically be passed around through emails, social media, word of mouth, etc. This type of exposure is priceless as there is a level of trust that comes with someone suggesting your content that cannot come from any form of paid advertising or sponsored suggestions.
SEO, SEO, SEO
Of course, one of the big draws of creating content online, SEO. SEO is so important in today’s world, and if you think it isn’t that important, ask yourself this. “When was the last time I went to the second page of the Google search results?”. I bet you can’t answer that question. With information always at our fingertips, we expect to have an answer to our questions immediately. If we do not see a link or an answer to our questions on the first page, we would rather change our search parameters than click on the second page. If the answer isn’t on the first page of search results, why would it be on the second page?
Unfortunately, this is not a unique thought. With everyone creating content thinking this way and working on SEO, you have a lot of work to do to beat them. This means your keywords have to be chosen correctly, mentioned multiple times in your content (but not too often). Also, you should have images, alt text relating to your content on those images, and the list goes on. It can be daunting looking at the list of SEO best practices and making sure you meet the criteria. When you do, and you start generating more content, you will reap the rewards.
Why Aren’t You Blogging?
I Don’t Have Anything To Write About
Every company, marketer, blogger, writer, etc. has struggled with this at one time or another. Discovering what you should write about can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways you can combat this. You can look up what your competition is writing about, and what the blogs you read are writing about. Seek out trending topics in the industry. You can even make random keyword searches related to your industry and see what appears.
Who Has The Time?
This is a common reason why people don’t start or continue blogs. Writing can be time-consuming! But, it doesn’t have to be as extensive as you think. You don’t have to blog content every day, in fact, I would recommend that you don’t. Instead, start with a bi-weekly post and take it from there. When you start to hone your skills as a writer, you can increase the number of blogs you write. Maybe start writing once a week, then up it to 2 a week. starting bi-weekly allows you to keep a steady stream of content ideas flowing as well as not burn you out.
I’m Not A Good Writer
As with anything, when you first start out, you will probably not become a professional right away. With anything, practice makes perfect. Even if this means writing a few blogs and having peers review and edit them. Or, writing a few blogs and waiting a few days to come back to read them and revise them before publishing. There are also many tools on the market such as Grammarly that will help you with your writing so you can get started on the right foot. This is a tool I have personally used in the past and loved it. It helps you set the correct tone, correct grammar, sentence structure, and more.
As you can see, there are many ways blogs can help you increase your sales and provide many other benefits. Although, it does not come without its own struggles. Through perseverance, hard work, and forward thinking you can maintain a steady flowing and helpful blog. That not only helps increase your traffic, but also increases brand loyalty, reduces churn, and increases sales.